Thursday, April 6, 2017

Colossians 3:5 - Part 3

The climax of the list is the word pleonexia, which is translated covetousness. It is the grasping and inordinate desire to have more.[1]. It denotes not only having the desire to possess more than one has, but more than one ought to have, especially that which belongs to another. It becomes the ruling passion of the heart. Jesus included this in Mark 7:22 along with fornication, adultery, murder, as being that which comes from within the human heart and shows forth real defilement of the person. In both this passage and in Eph. 5:5, Paul equates covetousness with idolatry (Greek eidololatria). It becomes idolatry when one places one’s affections on the things of earth instead of the things above. As Paul showed in Phil. 3:19-20, there is a contrast between those who are focused on earthly things and those whose citizenship is in heaven. It is placing anything before God. It is a worshipping of false gods. Paul spoke of his revelation of the exceeding sinfulness of covetousness in Rom. 7:7-13. He became aware of it when he became aware of the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet…” in Exodus 20:17.

Covetousness may well be considered the root of most of the problems of mankind. Paul wrote that the love of money was the root of all evil in 1 Tim. 6:10. It is not money, but the “love” of money, that overpowering desire for more, that makes it an idol for so many. Covetousness of anything becomes an idol that we bow and worship. When we are in Christ, He will come first and we will seek the things of the Kingdom (Matt. 6:33) above all else.

Prayer: Father, it is so easy to fall into the sin of covetousness. I believe that You placed it at the end of the Ten Commandments to cause us to consider how we fail on our own. We need Your Son. We need Your Spirit. Come into my heart, cleanse it and creat a right spirit within me. Amen.

[1] Perschbacher (1990). Page 331.

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